September 08, 2007

Sold Out

Acts 28:30-31

Boldly ... he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 28:31


One of my heroes was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He practiced the ministry of non-violence during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. He went to jail again and again because he believed the message of Jesus' love. King believed that standing up and suffering for justice would change America for the better. He was right.

King preached some of his best sermons from a jail cell. In a way, he kept company with the apostle Paul, for Paul, too, was known to deliver some hard-hitting messages from prison.

During his two years under house arrest, Paul showed hospitality regardless of his situation or of who came to see him. Paul did not embrace despair. He was not interested in being cast as a victim. He resisted bitterness about his plight.

Paul held close the words of Isaiah 40:31: "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They ... will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." In God's strength, Paul preached, lived, prayed, and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ the only way he knew how: "boldly and without hindrance." The last words written about Paul in the book of Acts are full of zest and energy. In Christ, we feel our lives fill up with courage and purpose.

I want to live that kind of life now. How about you?

<p>Dear Lord, give me boldness and courage to live my life for Jesus, both in times of constraint and in times of freedom. </p><p>In the name of this precious Savior I pray. Amen.</p>

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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